Interview w. a 1st Generation Hmong Young Man

Jason, 24, SF 2010, film, script writing, acting. Born in Stockton.

Jason_lor@hotmail.comParents born in Laos. 3 of older sisters and 2 brothers born in Laos. 8, 4 sons and 4 daughters. Youngest.

 

Language, at home I speak Hmong with family. Important to me, my culture, my family roots. I want my children to know their heritage and family history. We believe that someone is sick usually a evil spirit causes it. Call a shaman who tries to find out what the spirit is and to remove it. Only seen male shamans. They have bells and cover their face with a cloth, ring the bells and chant to make contact with the spirit. That’s all I know about it. My parents and I are Christian, Hmong. We don’t believe in it, like ghosts. Friends of mine will call shaman, I was about 6 or 7 the first time I saw it.

 

Don’t know about parents marriage. Usually arranged, even today. Parents believe it will bring a good life. all my siblings no arranged marriage. 3 are married. Bonme divorced with 2 kids, their main concern. He has custody. Mom visits on weekend from Sac. I prefer to pick my own wife, my choice. If things don’t work out, it’s another lesson learned.

 

Education: it depends on parents, making sure the kids do their homework, not always playing. My parents always made sure my hw was done before video games. It’s the kids who have to do it, have the discipline.

 

I feel we’re the same, were a lot of different cultures in hs. I don’t focus on the differences. Gangs do exist. Scares me. At the hmong new year everyone worried about gangs fighting for dominance. Clothes wear all blue, or red,

 

I’m living with my sister in sac.

 

Child raising: when I grew up they had me help with the farm, hard work, I was well disciplined through that process. I wouldn’t have my children do that. I feel I lost my chlldhood, time to do things like a regular kid. I’d spend a lot of time with my kids and make sure they succeed.

 

Media: sometimes the wrong message, like a kid under 10 playing a mature game is sending the wrong message. Hmong movies are a little more realistic, theme mostly about orphans because of war or illness so live with aunts and uncles who care more about their own kids, arranged marriage whether it works or not, made in Laos. Parents love you most, respect them.

 

I respect my parents and elders when they grew up they never had much freedom, had to work so much as kids. I appreciate what they did to take care of us, what they had to go through each day

Differences: eat dinner differently we eat with rice. I like to explore different cultures. For us it doesn’t seem to matter how we dress, just appreciate what we have. Youth at church dress in dress shirts. Girls can go off to college. A lot of boys tend to go to work after hs. Boys don’t do much studying. Prefer to take action, study time takes patience.

 

Proud of being Hmong I’m different and yet I’m still accepted by everybody, able to speak another language, a lot of interesting things about culture, still learning about it. Still a part of the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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